“I’ve always loved working with horses, probably stemming from growing up in Zambia in the 80’s where it was one of the few available options for entertainment. My parents moved to Spain several years ago and I’ve been spending a lot of time visiting so I decided to join the local horse sanctuary. I wanted to spend some time volunteering and horses seemed to be the natural route.
I contacted the ARCH stables and they were only too happy to have more hands on deck. They are purely not for profit and run by volunteers. (Supported by the ARCH charity shop that just about manages to cover the stable’s daily expenses). They tend to take only the worst cases at the stables when abused or neglected horses or donkeys are confiscated by the local police. The confiscated animals that are in relatively good condition (i.e stable, not critical) are fairly quickly re-homed but the more severe cases take quite a bit of time to recover and rehabilitate and get accustomed to a loving human touch.
The average morning consists of clearing out the several wheelbarrows of manure, feeding the horses hard feed and hay, grooming and medicating where necessary and generally making sure everything is in order. We then get ready for the afternoon feed and later the afternoon volunteers ensure the feed is turned into manure ready for the morning wheelbarrows.
Then there are the days where someone needs to go and investigate a claim or attend a police confiscation, and it can get a little hairy at times I can tell you! It’s obviously better to educate the owners than to resort to confiscation, but sometimes it’s the only way.
The worst cases at the stables have helped me overcome my squeemishness, one just has to get on with it. It’s also great just to be around the horses and make new friends, of which there are many! The hard work and heartache is all worth it in the end when you see the healthy horses in their new homes, happily running free. ”
Leon Patras, ARCH Rescue Centre
For more on the awesome work of the ARCH Rescue Centre, check out their crowdfunding campaign page: